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Author Topic: Newbie very interested in the 2552...  (Read 1487 times)
Zorba
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« on: July 06, 2012, 12:36:02 pm »

Its a long story, but the gist of it is that my wife and I are very interested in the 2552 after seeing an '08 2551 on a local lot.

We're not in a hurry to purchase - and may well purchase used in a couple of years. But, PC gives me the opportunity to spec
out exactly what I want, so I'm not ruling out buying new either!

After perusing the "build your own" site, this is what we "think" we want - I'd like to get comments pro and con about our choices thus far:

2552, Ford chassis
Lower body paint - MAYBE. "Standard" would probably be just fine too... Color undecided.
Cherry Cabinets
Awning - is it a power awning? The '08 2551 was a manual setup.
"Premium Convenience Package" - We don't really need the hitch, heated mirrors and only want the TV begrudgingly, but all the other goodies are wanted.
HWH Leveling Jacks - I've been hand leveling trailers all my life - "its time"...
Bedspreads - "because they fit"
Surround sound
Double pane windows - a must!
Backup Monitor - a must!
Fantastic fan in LR - might as well.

Here come the questions and non-standard possible requests:

I can't see the need for a 2nd A/C and 50 amp service on such a small rig. My parents cooled their 29' Fifth Wheel just fine with 1 A/C. Comments?

I have questions about the chassis seats. Definitely want the passenger seat to swivel - which appears to be standard - but what about the driver's seat?
Does it swivel? Can it? I absolutely, positively DETEST power seats - thankfully that is an option I can skip. Now the BIG question: Can the seats be had
in cloth? I also DETEST leather seats for a variety of reasons. If I have to, I'll get them re-upholstered - but would rather not have to deal with the double
expense to start with!

I'm annoyed that I cannot get this model with a diesel engine. Stuart tells me this is because Ford stopped putting diesels in the e-450 chassis - which
was really, really DUMB on their part. At one time, everything I owned was diesel powered, and I really wish it was still that way - but this is the USA
and thus cannot be helped. I will say that when you tromp down on that 10, something's gonna happen! My wife and I were both very impressed with
the Ford chassis, we really thought it drove, handled and rode very well - I don't know if the one we drove had any mods (as read about here in the PC
forums) done or not. It had under 5K miles on the clock.

BTW, in a perfect world, I'd really rather have it on a "pickup" style chassis as well. Not only could I get the diesel engine, it would avoid all the hassles
of a van with its impossible to work on engine, etc. I'm sure this isn't possible - but Born Free is doing it. Unfortunately, BF isn't making anything we're
interested in.

I would really like to have outside (porch) lites on the port side and back (or be able to turn on the backup lites for this purpose from an inside switch)
from the factory. I understand this wouldn't be a problem to have done. Any feelings about so-called "docking lites"?

I also would want to minimize plastic on the exterior. I've owned 2 RVs, and helped with my parent's 2 RVs before that. I don't like plastic, it lasts
about 5 years before its rotten and needs to be replaced. I want metal refrigerator vents, metal sewer vent caps (the ones on the roof, I just happen
to have 3 NOS metal ones I can send to the factory), a metal water fill, etc. The roof vents I'll take in plastic due to the skylight function - they're cheap
and easy enough to change out; but I'd rather have a "real" metal and glass skylight over the shower.

I want two 6 volt batteries in series instead of the usual 2 12 volters in parallel. Electronics is my trade - I "know better" than to connect batteries
in parallel, both from training as well as considerable experience. I want a large gauge charge line brought up to the roof in a waterproof J-box, preferably
located somewhere near the A/C. Large gauge in case I decide I want to put serious solar panels on top, near the A/C in case I decide on only a
"keep up" panel of 20 or 30 watts in which case the best place to put it is on top of the A/C to avoid more holes in the roof.

I think I really want the ladder - how problematic is it really?

Does anyone know if a pair of folding bicycles will fit into the rear compartment?

I know at one time refrigerators in slideouts were problematic because of the lack of a roof vent - a (plastic) side vent is used up high instead.
Comments and experience with latter day installations and PC installations in particular? I always install one of those little exhaust fans in
the reefer compartment - they REALLY help and may be particularly called for here.

TIA for any/all comments!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 04:12:10 pm by Zorba » Logged
ron.dittmer
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 04:25:55 pm »

Hi Zorba, Welcome!

You ask many good questions.  I will try to be brief in my answers.  Remember that we own a 2007 2350 (2007 Ford chassis too), bought new in 2007.

Model 2552 was introdced in 2011 or 2012 so you won't find one older.

Way over-kill to have 2 a/c units, might be beneficial only for zone cooling in the longest of PCs, not the 2552.  With well insulated walls & ceiling, and double pane windows, two a/c units is a waste of money and introduces one more large hole in your roof.

We have cherry cabinets because my wife wanted them.  I do like them, but the interior is darker from them.  Just expect that draw back.

100% agree with double pane windows.  We have them and love them.

Power awning was introduced in 2009 or 2010.  I have the older box awning.  For as often as we use it fully opened, it's fine, though admittedly is some work compared to pushing a button.  What I like about ours is the lack of tracks on the side of our rig.  I see that being it's only good point.

Swivel seat(s) are optional, so are power seats.  My wife and I love our power driver seat and pasenger swivel seat.  The driver seat accomodates my 5'11" body, and her 5'-1" body.  Each can make the seat the height best for them, and also make significant changes while driving.  I love to take advantage of the 6-way adjustments to change my weight distribution to squeeze in an extra hour of drive time.  I would be in torture if I couldn't do that.

With the 3rd seat (the one behind the passenger), the passenger swivel seat is nice having guests when parked.  It does not have the 6-way adjustments, but while driving the passenger can do many other position changes to take care of extended sitting times.  We like our decision on seat stuff.

I wished I thought of 270 degree docking lights when we ordered ours.  I later considered installing them, but dropped the idea because it was too evassive to retro-fit.

Just about everyone thinks differently then me about the ladder and roof rack.  They all like it or love it.  I asked ours be placed inside in pieces, and so it is stored in my basement at home.  5 years and so far I have no regrets, but I do have all the parts in-case I change my mind.

Folding bikes won't fit inside the rear compartment.  The rear hitch you think you won't utilize, you will for a bike rack.

A few PC owners have gotten serious with solar panels up-top, one person did a real nice job of it.  He had the antenna mounted rearward so he could place the panels nicely.

Me being the odd ball, I wished we never had an antenna at all.  With digital technology, and the remote places we travel, we can't utilize it.  We watch movies on DVD and use RV park cable service (the few times we've stayed in RV parks).

One of my main regrets is not getting the leather dinette seating.  Our cloth makes sliding in and out from the dinette a bit of a chore.  We got leather everywhere else, thinking the cloth would be a nice accent as seen here.  It does accent nicely but surely not worth the hassle.  The leather wipes up nicely too.  Not so with cloth.

Ask PC-USA if they will custom build a 2552 on an F450 diesel pickup chassis.  They may do it for you at a minimal charge over cost.  They are one of the few RV manufactures who are positioned to do such special requests.  That is how the 2552 and the 4x4 option both came to be.  Somebody asked if they would be willing to do it for them.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 04:38:27 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron Dittmer (wife Irene) 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 07:30:49 pm »

Zorba

Welcome to the forum. We have both the driver and passenger side swivel options.  Not only gives added seating but also gives an added feeling of space.  Below is a picture from a previous post.





Barry
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 07:33:33 pm by Barry-Sue » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 10:41:52 pm »

Great pictures, Ron.  It is always fun to see the inside of someone else's rig,

A question:  Can the Driver's seat with the power options be made to swivel? 

Or do you just order another seat like the passenger swivel chair? 

We ordered the power driver's seat because Bob is 6'3" and I am 5'6".  If I just raise the seat up an inch or and closer to the wheel, we both can see out of the side mirrors without any changes.
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 11:07:33 pm »

Can the Driver's seat with the power options be made to swivel?  Or do you just order another seat like the passenger swivel chair?  

We ordered the power driver's seat because Bob is 6'3" and I am 5'6".  If I just raise the seat up an inch or and closer to the wheel, we both can see out of the side mirrors without any changes.
You can order either seat to swivel or 6-way power, but not do both swivel and 6-way power.  If getting neither, the seat simply moves forward and backward and the back rest pivots.

You have the same situation as we do with the difference in people height so the power driver seat would be very nice for the reasons I stated higher.  I think you may be right in thinking you won't need to adjust the mirror settings between drivers with the 6-way power driver seat.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 11:12:43 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron Dittmer (wife Irene) 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 10:54:16 am »

Quote
Now the BIG question: Can the seats be had
in cloth?

Zobra,

     To answer your question, the seats can be ordered in cloth or leather.  As you can see from our picture above, we chose to have the front seats in leather but they can also be done in cloth.  We went with cloth on the sofa instead of leather.  We were never that fond of leather in our cars (had it in a corvette and they were so "unadaptable to the weather") but really like the leather in the PC.  For us the leather seats in the cab are very confortable and adapt to the temperature of the PC very nicely.  We always had to put something down in the corvettte to either keep them warm or cold but the PC is so different.  

That is what is great about PC - they'll accomodate your needs if they can and they'll go out of their way to help you!

As far as power versus swivel - we really welcome the extra seating in our 2551.  I am 5'1" and Barry is 6' and it works out for us that if we just adjust the seat forward or back for each of us the mirrors do not have to be moved.  Power is nice to maybe get some added comfort when driving but since we do not drive long hours (the joys of being retired) and generally sit in one location for long periods of time when we go for three or four months, the driving comfort has not been an issue.  Our six to eight hour driving days are few and far between. 

Sue
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 11:05:27 am by Barry-Sue » Logged

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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 11:35:19 am »

Our six to eight hour driving days are few and far between.
There you go.  There are big differences in driving situations.  It's all about your vacationing style and circumstance.  Us working with 3 weeks at a time, we start out and end our trips driving 15 or more hours per day, bee-lining across the great plains.  Usually on the way back home we drive 24/7, so shifting my body weight around with the 6-way to extend my drive times is very welcoming.  That will give my wife an extra hour or more of rest before her shift.  Then my bladder will determine when to stop rather than my butt.  Smile

BTW: I agree with Barry-Sue.  The front leather seats are extremely comfortable, much better than most other vehicles with leather interiors, and even home furniture.  We have no regrets with that investment.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 11:48:25 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron Dittmer (wife Irene) 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2012, 05:42:10 pm »

My vote goes for the leather all around... Stuart was very helpful when we ordered our unit two months ago, and one of his suggestions was the leather.  Am so glad we did, as we love it.

Denny and Barb
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Zorba
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 01:19:54 pm »

Thanx EVERYONE for your most helpful, and thoughtful replies. Definitely, we would want both seats to swivel! Seems common sense to me - and I'm glad I can get the seats in cloth (and avoid the power seat "business"). I know I'm an oddball (in many ways - I'm a male Belly Dancer!), but I find leather sheer misery and power seats annoy me.

Thanx for the confirmation about not needing a second A/C - although I'm now inclined to get the 50 amp service without the second A/C just so I don't have to shut down the (one and only) A/C to run the microwave or other power hungry device (when 50 amps is available).

As "the time" gets closer, I certainly will ask PC if they can build onto an F450 truck chassis - but I'd expect this to be very problematic as the entire coach is, of course, designed for the E series and I'd think the geometry would be very different. Can't hurt to ask though. Even if it can be done, it likely would be cost prohibitive. I'm sure I can suffer along with an E series gas rig...  ThumbsUp
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 09:40:02 am »

We had a 2006-2551PC and just bought a 2012-2552.
The 2552 has much more storage space.

They tell me they went to 2-6v Trojan batteries as standard. But if not, it is a no charge option.
Cabinets- We like light colored cabinets. Make thinks much brighter inside.
1-A/C is plenty. Where we travel we are lucky to find 15amp service. Can't see why you would want 50 amps, for a few minutes of microwaving while air is on.
Rear ladder is a must for us, we carry our boats on top and rear hitch is best place for bikes, There is not much outside storage to would hate to loose cabinet to folding bikes.
Take a look at the pictures of our rig I posted on our blog. My Mexico Blog, we are the ones who moved the antenna to the rear.
By the way they put a fan in the rear of the refrigerator in the slideout, really required with no top vent.
Rig color, we travel in hot weather and prefer all white outside.
Unless you plan to drive you rig over 200K miles, you really can't ever justify having a diesel to save money. We drive a lot but probably only average 10K per year. Long trips is why I prefer power seats and we like all cloth everywhere. It is a very good quality material in the newer units.
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Zorba
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 01:24:29 pm »

We had a 2006-2551PC and just bought a 2012-2552.
The 2552 has much more storage space.

They tell me they went to 2-6v Trojan batteries as standard. But if not, it is a no charge option.
Excellent. That's the way it should be!
Quote
Cabinets- We like light colored cabinets. Make thinks much brighter inside.
I'll point that out to my wife - although neither of us care for blonde wood - but you're the second person to point this out, and it bears some thought.
Quote
1-A/C is plenty. Where we travel we are lucky to find 15amp service. Can't see why you would want 50 amps, for a few minutes of microwaving while air is on.
Why not? If its available at the park, might as well be able to take advantage of it!
Quote
By the way they put a fan in the rear of the refrigerator in the slideout, really required with no top vent.
Yea, from what I've heard about that kind of setup, this makes sense. Glad they've already placed a fan.
Quote
Rig color, we travel in hot weather and prefer all white outside.
I've heard all my life that white is the most popular color choice for cars - which I've never understood as I like color, and lots of it! But with all that said,
I'm inclined to go with "mostly" white as its cheaper for one; and as you say, cooler for another!
Quote
Unless you plan to drive you rig over 200K miles, you really can't ever justify having a diesel to save money. We drive a lot but probably only average 10K per year. Long trips is why I prefer power seats and we like all cloth everywhere. It is a very good quality material in the newer units.
Laughing... I'm a diesel person - of course I'll drive it over 200K miles. I just had a fight with my insurance company over my T-boned '85 Mercedes-Benz. They protested "Its a 27 year old car with over a quarter million miles on it!" to which I replied "Yes, and if all things go as typical for this vehicle, I won't have to pull the head for another 100K to 150K miles. That's another ten to fifteen years." They fixed it.

I'll take the gas motor if I must - and it looks like I must - by all accounts its a good one. But I sure do wish Americans (and Japanese to a lesser extent) would stop screwing around with inefficient gasoline engines. As a for instance, put a diesel in a Prius and you'd have my attention - as it is, all that expensive hybrid technology brings a gas motor to the same approximate efficiency as a diesel. What. Ever.

Glad to hear it about the cloth seats. One of my (many) pet peeves about the American car market is the in-ablity to be able to spec a vehicle by line item like, I'm given to understand, you can do in much of the rest of the world. Instead, we're stuck with these take it or leave it "packages". PC is a VERY refreshing change from that mindset.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 12:35:42 pm by Zorba » Logged
aimee
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 03:10:10 pm »

Glad to hear it about the cloth seats. One of my (many) pet peeves about the American car market is the in-ablity to be able to spec a vehicle by line item like, I'm given to understand, you can do in much of the rest of the world. Instead, we're stuck with these take it or leave it "packages". PC is a VERY refreshing change from that mindset.

Glad to hear it!  They do a remarkable job of line-iteming things at the factory and we needed to express that in the quote request form, and my wonderfully fabulous, dedicated developer did a phenomenal job with the quote request software.  Every line of that code we rolled out ourselves. The version we wrote for the factory is a little more robust with being able to add in one-off kinds of things, etc.
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Zorba
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 05:57:58 pm »

Glad to hear it!  They do a remarkable job of line-iteming things at the factory and we needed to express that in the quote request form, and my wonderfully fabulous, dedicated developer did a phenomenal job with the quote request software.  Every line of that code we rolled out ourselves. The version we wrote for the factory is a little more robust with being able to add in one-off kinds of things, etc.
This reminds me of a story, many years ago now...

I went to Ford, Dodge, and Chevy. Told them all the same thing: "I want your 3/4 ton, turbo diesel truck. I want all the heavy duty stuff (springs, cooling, alternator, etc). I want your best NON POWER bucket seat (this was before idiots started putting leather in trucks). I want air conditioning. I want cruise control. I want a manual transmission. If it has a good stereo, fine. If not, I'll aftermarket it. Ditto for a rear sliding window. That's it. No baloney chrome, light, 'convenience' packages, power windows, etc.. Can you sell me a truck like this?"

Ford and Chevy told me "No way". Dodge told me "Yes. The only thing you'll get that you don't want is a tilt steering wheel (more stupidity as far as I'm concerned) that comes with the cruise control". At least with the tilt, I could set it straight on and forget about it.

I ended up buying a Ford used. It had started life as a stripper, but the previous owner had added A/C. I added cruise control, replaced the seat, installed a sliding rear window and life was good!
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 02:33:45 pm »

There's a 2551 built on the Ford Diesel for sale now.  A 2010 I think with lower body cafe paint.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 04:45:56 pm »

It appears that when you do buy a PC, you will add some panache to the population of mundane owners, as I presume that you are "Zorba, The Veiled Male", a man of renown whose websites on Google cover more than one screen.  Nice to see that PC's don't only appeal to old retirees like me.

Jerry


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